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It’s in your hands > the Cyprus Euro November 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Cyprus, Business & Economy, Cyprus News.
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As of January next year, the euro will be the official currency in Cyprus. A new exhibition in Limassol hopes to answer any final questions

New Year’s resolutions may be slightly different this January. If a wealthy and prosperous 2008 is top of your list, make sure you envision the cash filling your wallets in euros. As the island enters the euro zone on January 1 2008, you will have to say goodbye to those National symbols that have graced Cyprus’ notes for so many years. As Cyprus adopts the euro, the Cyprus pound will be completely withdrawn from circulation within a one-month period.

The intensive campaign to inform the public about the euro kicked off back in March with the slogan ‘The Successful Adoption of the Euro is in Your Hands’. It marked the beginning of a one million pound campaign that even included a special white and yellow euro bus travelling to the more remote villages encouraging the public to become less sceptical, and more at ease with the idea of the euro. Dual prices are now displayed in shops, and you can’t miss the newspaper and magazine adverts displaying blue hearts emblazoned with the euro symbol.

But most Cypriots don’t change their habits easily, and there are still many that are a bit bewildered by the ins and outs of the euro adoption. To come to their aid, an exhibition has opened at the Lanitis Centre in Limassol, focusing on the euro and providing plenty of information on what the implementation of this new currency will involve.

With six different theme rooms, you can find out about the various Cyprus euro coins that we will soon be using, learn about the history and the benefits of the euro, and hopefully find answers to important queries that may still be puzzling you. Organisers explain that the point of the exhibition is to illustrate the importance of the euro in daily life, as well as the benefits involved when it comes to exchange, travel and investments abroad.

The euro was first launched in January 1999 as an electronic currency, but attempts to create a single currency went back 20 years prior to that because of the economic crises of the 1970s. In January 2002, the euro became a reality for 12 countries of the EU and is now a part of daily life for 315 million Europeans living in the euro area. As Cyprus enters the euro zone along with Malta, you may be wondering what exactly Cyprus’ notes and coins will look like?

The notes Cyprus will be using are identical to those currently used in the rest of Europe. It may be a little sad to think that Cypriots will no longer have notes unique to the country, but the point of identical designs is to represent the harmony of contemporary Europe.

Each euro banknote depicts a 20th Century European architectural design. The front of the notes depicts windows and gateways to symbolise European spirit, openness and cooperation. Unlike the notes, however, the euro coins will depict unique national designs on the one side. Interestingly, the symbol chosen for the new currency (€) is inspired by the Greek letter ‘epsilon’, the first letter of the word Europe. The two parallel lines indicate the euro’s stability.

Go along to the Lanitis Centre and you will also be able to have a look at a photographic exhibition named ‘Cyprus-Europe’ which documents the relationship between the island and Europe from ancient times to the present day.

The Euro: Our Currency > An exhibition aiming to make the Cypriot public better aquainted with the euro. Opened October 26, 7pm, until November 5. Evagoras Lanitis Centre, Carob Mill, Limassol, tel 25 342123.

So what exactly happens on January 1 2008?

  • When the euro replaces the pound as the official currency of Cyprus on January 1, euro banknotes and coins will immediately be put into circulation. All bank account details that are normally denominated in pounds will automatically be denominated in euros
  • For a period of one month after the adoption of the euro, banknotes and coins in Cyprus pounds will circulate in parallel with the euro and will be accepted for payments in all shops and enterprises, but any change will be given in euros. From February 2007, cash in Cyprus pounds will cease to be legal tender and will not be accepted for payments
  • Withdrawals from bank accounts will only be in euros
  • ATMs will only issue euros
  • All non-cash transactions, by means of cheque, card, etc, will be carried out in euros
  • Banks will exchange pound notes and coins for euros free of charge, up to a ceiling of Cy£1,000 per customer, until June 30 2008
  • Dual display (in pounds and euro) of the prices and services provided to consumers in all companies, shops, restaurants etc. is compulsory right up until September 2008. This means you will constantly be able to compare prices as you adjust to the new currency
  • National website for the euro > www.euro.cy Toll free telephone line for the euro is 8000 2008.
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